1996

The Struggling Start

His passion for the sport fueled him to introduce the game of floorball to a society traditionally focused on education and economic development. It proved to be a daunting task. The resources were running out and Par Nicklas had to sleep on a sofa bed in the original Temple Street office-cum-warehouse-cum-living quarters in Chinatown. He had to work extra as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman at night to finance the company as well as the national team that he was starting and coaching. Many times, after lying in the sofa beds at night with neither fan nor air-conditioner in the humid weather, having a goalpost as the clothes hanger, not to mention the perpetually loud mahjong gambling den upstairs, Par Nicklas started to wonder that perhaps he should have taken the boring corporate road that law studies would have given him instead of following his dream. Especially so when the diet of 1 dollar noodles at Maxwell Food Court started to be a bit boring for lunch and dinner. However, the brilliant idea to rapidly form alliances with Singapore grassroot organizations and the Sports Council allowed the sport to be brought to another level. He also continued to coach and find funds for the national team; this paid off when Singapore sent a team to the World Floorball Championships 1996 as the first Asian team to participate in the World Championship.

Singapore's First Debut Floorball World Cup

Singapore made its first debut in the 1996 WFC, with Stefan and Filip as the coaches. Having only less than a year’s worth of floorball experience, it was not surprising that the Singapore team suffered a major defeat after every match. However, the European teams admired Singapore’s fighting spirit; they did not give up despite getting thrashed after every game. In fact, the crowd stood up and cheered whenever Singapore crossed the half court line. Many Swedish children would also rush towards the SIngapore players after their matches, wanting their autographs. Needless to say, it was a rather comical scene to witness. It is undeniable that the Singapore team left a memorable impression in the minds of the audiences and gained their respect after having to lose gracefully in every match.

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